Creator of the world's most ambitious fact-based TV program of the year is Featured Speaker at CATA "Northern Light" Celebration Gala
May 21, 2008

Ottawa, ON, May 21, 2008 -- A champion of Canadian creativity and innovation, Paul Lewis, President and General Manager of Discovery Channel Canada, will be the featured speaker at the Canadian Advanced Technology Alliance's 23rd Innovation Gala Dinner. Mr. Lewis has been the driving force behind the acclaimed series' "Race To Mars", and "Mars Rising", a Canadian project that has been broadcast around the world to rave reviews and huge audiences.

"Discovery Channel's mantra is that 'science is everywhere', said John Reid, President of CATA, "and as a result they are one of Canada's strongest science promoters. Discovery Channel has proved that Canadians share CATA's own passion for technology and exploration; it has the highest viewer satisfaction rating, the highest average weekly reach, and is the preferred specialty channel for upper-income consumers. If you were looking for a platform for technology awareness, you couldn't do better than Discovery Channel."

New Award: Northern Light

Mr. Lewis's passion for space exploration fits perfectly with Northern Light. Northern Light is a real space program to push Canada into an exclusive global club shared by only two other nations -- landing a spacecraft on the surface of Mars. Northern Light was conceived by Dr. Brendan Quine, of York University, as a sophisticated made-in-Canada science payload that will be the first lander dedicated to checking for signs of life on Mars. Northern Light is a private sector initiative backed by a dozen Canadian universities and more than 50 Canadian scientists.

"The cooperative construction of Northern Light represents a virtue that can give Canadian companies a "collaborative edge," said Mr. Lewis. "From space, it is obvious that the world has no borders. Collaboration between people regardless of nationality is the key to prosperity. Canadian companies are very good at this kind of international collaboration, tapping into the ripple-chains of expanding value that unite innovators, commercializers, and professionals. At the Gala, we will be celebrating the Canadian companies that are the "best of the best" in advanced technology.

The agenda for the Northern Light award includes many high-profile executives:

Host: Paul Brent, CTV
Keynote Speech: Paul Lewis, President and General Manager, Discovery Channel Canada
Panel Discussion: Robert Ashe, President, Cognos
Albert Lai, Founder of MyDesktop
Rod Bryden, President & CEO, Plasco Energy Group
Leonard Brody, Founder,
Northern Light Award: Presented by Dr. Brendan Quine, Northern Light, & John Pickett, ITWorld Canada,

The Northern Light Award will be selected from CATA sector awards for:

About Northern Light - Where The Sky's Not The Limit
Northern Light continues Canada's tradition of aerospace leadership. Northern Light embodies the spirit that made Canadian aerospace great: it is being driven by the public, academic and private sectors, working together. This Canadian lander and rover system will be a major contribution to international Mars exploration and will provide niche science using Canadian expertise. It features the cooperation of Canada's major universities and more than 50 renowned Canadian scientists. The mission's Principal Investigator is Dr. Brendan (Ben) Quine, who is a Director of Space Engineering at York University and Chief Technical Officer at Thoth Technology. For more information see: